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FILM SCORE FRIDAY 3/2/07

By Scott Bettencourt

As you all probably are well aware, Gustavo Santaolalla won his second consecutive Best Score Oscar Sunday night for BABEL, a rare achievemenet which instantly earned him the emnity of many film music fans. The Best Song Oscar went to Melissa Etheridge for "I Need to Wake Up" from An Inconvenient Truth.

I was lucky enough to be at Sunday night's ceremony, and on three separate occasions I complimented Thomas Newman on his work (specifically his superb Good German score), which I think makes me officially his stalker.


The latest release from Intrada's Signature Edition series is Lee Holdridge's score for the miniseries version of EAST OF EDEN. Their disc features the 53 minutes of music included on the orignial LP release as well as an additional 26 minutes taken from mono masters. The disc is limited to 1000 copies.


Varese Sarabande will announce their latest CD Club releases on March 12th.

Varese Sarabande will also release Dario Marianelli's score for GOODBYE BAFANA, a drama set in Apartheid-era South Africa starring Joseph Fiennes, Dennis Haysbert, and Diane Kreuger. The disc will be released overseas on April 10th, but its U.S. release date has yet to be determined (the film should not be confused with the Rwanda massacre drama Beyond the Gates, aka Shooting Dogs, also scored by Marianelli).

On April 17th, Varese will release a three-disc set titled MIKLOS ROZSA: A CENTENARY COLLECTION, which will feature previously released music from such classic Rozsa scores as The Thief of Bagdad, The Lost Weekend, Spellbound, Quo Vadis, Ben-Hur, King of Kings, El Cid, and Eye of the Needle, and many others.


The Geers, Gross Agency of New York has announced the launch of the Miklos Rozsa Centenary Project for recording and performing the Hungarian master's music, with the lead sponsorship of The Argent Funds Group, LLC and Dr. D. Bruce McMahan, in cooperation with internationally renowned violinist Anastasia Khitruk, the National Christina Foundation, Naxos Records and the Miklos Rozsa Society.
 
The first recordings on the Naxos label will be of the Violin Concerto Op. 24, the Sinfonia Concertante Op. 29, and the Sonata for solo violin Op. 40. The Concertos will be performed and recorded in Moscow by the Russian Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Dimitry Yablonsky with violinist Anastasia Khitruk and cellist Andrey Tchekmazov. Violinist Philippe Quint will record the solo sonata, also for Naxos, and with William Wolfram, the Duo for violin and pian. There are several recitals in preparation, and plans are underway for a major event in Hollywood at the end of the Centenary year.
 
Additionally, in celebration of the composer's Centenary a book by Jeffrey Dane, A Composer's Notes: Remembering Miklos Rozsa was recently published by iUniverse in Lincoln, Nebraska.


In further Rozsa news, the Tadlow Music website features video footage of a rehearsal of their re-recording of the composer's THE PRIVATE LIFE OF SHERLOCK HOLMES.


Emmy-winning composer Richard Bellis (Stephen King's It) has written a new book entitled THE EMERGING FILM COMPOSER, a guide to the craft and business of film scoring. The book can be ordered at the composer's website.


Christian Desjardins' new book INSIDE FILM MUSIC: COMPOSERS SPEAK, published by Silman-James Press, is now available from amazon.com.


In the first of a series of yet to be finished columns on the scores of 1979, I discussed one of my favorite scores of that year, Johnny Mandel's BEING THERE, which has never been released on disc in any form. I have recently discovered that though Mandel's two main themes for the score are technically originals, they were actually inspired by two of Erik Satie's compositions -- the main theme was inspired by Six Gnossiennes: No.4. Lent, and the secondary theme was inspired by Six Gnossiennes: No.5. Modere.


And I don't know about you, but I am definitely seeing ZODIAC this weekend. A new David Fincher film...set in San Francisco in the 1970s...in the style of All the President's Men...with cinematography by Harris Savides...and a new score by David Shire...I'm so psyched for it that I can pretty much only be disappointed.


CDS AVAILABLE THIS WEEK

Black Book - Anne Dudley - Milan
Breach - Mychael Danna - Varese Sarabande
East of Eden - Lee Holdridge - Intrada Signature Edition
Laurel and Hardy Laughtoons Vol. 1 - Jeff Alexander, Lyn Murray, Ruby Raksin, Fred Steiner - Screen Archives
Nomad: The Warrior - Carlo Siliotto - Varese Sarabande


IN THEATERS TODAY

Avenue Montaigne - Nicola Piovani - Score & Song CD Fauteuils D'Orchestre on EMI (import)
Black Snake Moan - Scott Bomar - Song CD on New West with 3 score cues
Full of It - John Swihart
Wild Hogs - Teddy Castellucci
Zodiac - David Shire - Score CD due March 13 from Varese Sarabande


COMING SOON

March 6
The Host - Byeong Woo Lee - Milan
The Namesake - Nitin Sawhney - Rounder
300 - Tyler Bates - Warner Bros.
March 13
Dead Silence - Charlie Clouser - Lakeshore
Music to Be Murdered By/Circus of Horrors - Jeff Alexander/Franz Reizenstein/Muir Mathieson - DRG
Snakes on a Plane - Trevor Rabin - Varese Sarabande
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? - Alex North - DRG
Zodiac - David Shire - Varese Sarabande
March 20
Amazing Grace - David Arnold - Spring House
The Last Mimzy - Howard Shore - New Line
Reign Over Me - Rolfe Kent - Lakeshore
March 27
After the Wedding - Johan Soderqvist - Milan
Grindhouse: Planet Terror - Robert Rodriguez - Varese Sarabande
The Reaping - John Frizzell - Varese Sarabande
The Ultimate Gift - Mark McKenzie - Varese Sarabande
April 17
Miklos Rozsa: A Centenary Collection - Miklos Rozsa - Varese Sarabande
The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (re-recording) - Miklos Rozsa - Tadlow
May 15
Blood and Chocolate - Reinhold Heil, Johnny Klimek - Lakeshore
Date Unknown
Amazing Stories: Anthology Three - John Williams & various other incredible composers - Intrada Special Collection
Angel on My Shoulder - Dimitri Tiomkin - Screen Archives
The Blob (and other creepy sounds) - Ralph Carmichael - Monstrous Movie Music
D.O.A. - Dimitri Tiomkin - Screen Archives
Deadly Friend - Charles Bernstein - Perseverance
The Enforcer - Jerry Fielding - Aleph
David Shire: At the Movies (re-release) - David Shire - Kritzerland
Film Music of John Addison - John Addison - Chandos
Goodbye Bafana - Dario Marianelli - Varese Sarabande
The Intruder and other music - Herman Stein - Monstrous Movie Music
The Most Beautiful Piano Themes - Georges Delerue - Disques CineMusiques
Spellbound (re-recording) - Miklos Rozsa - Intrada
The Three Musketeers - Max Steiner - Screen Archives/BYU


THIS WEEK IN FILM MUSIC HISTORY

March 2 - Marc Blitzstein born (1905)
March 2 - Richard Hazard born (1921)
March 2 - Andrzej Korzynski born (1940)
March 2 - Alfred Newman wins Oscar for Song of Bernadette score (1944)
March 2 - Basil Poledouris begins recording his score to Big Wednesday (1978)
March 2 - Serge Gainsbourg died (1991)
March 2 - Malcolm Williamson died (2003)
March 3 - Lee Holdridge born (1944)
March 3 - Jeff Rona born (1957)
March 3 - Arthur Kempel died (2004)
March 4 - Erich Wolfgang Korngold's score for Anthony Adverse wins the Oscar; however, as per Academy policy, the Oscar is awarded to the head of the studio's music department, Leo Forbstein (1937)
March 4 - Max Steiner wins score Oscar for Now Voyager (1943)
March 5 - Heitor Villa-Lobos born (1887)
March 5 - Max Steiner's score for The Informer wins the Oscar; Academy policy at the time awards to the score to the head of the studio's music branch -- who, in this case, is Max Steiner (1936)
March 5 - Bruce Smeaton born (1938)
March 5 - Michael Gore born (1951)
March 5 - Sergei Prokofiev died (1953)
March 5 - John Williams begins recording his score to Star Wars (1977)
March 5 - Gustavo Santaolalla wins his first Original Score Oscar, for Brokeback Mountain (2006)
March 6 - Richard Hageman died (1966)
March 7 - King Kong premieres in New York (1933)
March 7 - Miklos Rozsa wins first Oscar for Spellbound score (1946)
March 7 - Gordon Parks died (2006)
March 8 - Dick Hyman born (1927)
March 8 - Bruce Broughton born (1945)
March 8 - Jerry Goldsmith begins recording orchestral cues for Logan's Run score (1976)
March 8 - William Walton died (1983)


DID THEY MENTION THE MUSIC?

AMAZING GRACE - David Arnold

"By 1797, British abolitionist William Wilberforce was sick and famous. He was largely bedridden yet holding out that his embattled proposal to end England's part in the slave trade would push through Parliament. It did, finally, in 1807. As portrayed in 'Amazing Grace,' the bill's passage was greeted with a welter of manly cheers and the kind of deafening orchestral swell reserved for populist sports films, in which the underdog team scuffles to impossible victory and scores 100 extra feel-good points. Viewers leave with a bounce, and step out into splendid sunshine."

Chris Garcia, Austin-American Statesman

"The music, by David Arnold, is the picture's biggest flaw. [Director Michael] Apted seems to like 'big' movie music, which is an asset when you bring on someone like John Barry (which Apted did for 'Enigma,' a terrific, underappreciated picture with a lovely score). But Arnold -- who recently wrote a fine score for 'Casino Royale' -- doesn't have a tight enough rein on the material here: There's too much bombast, with too little real weight."

Stephanie Zacharek, Salon.com

"Our picture of Wilberforce amounts to him listening humbly as Britain's finest tell him how wonderful he is, all set to a plucky soundtrack evoking dogs and bunnies frolicking through the commonwealth."

Michael Booth, Denver Post

THE NUMBER 23 - Harry Gregson-Williams

"It may seem unfair to put [director Joel] Schumacher up against David Lynch, but in many regards that's the most instructive comparison here. And, even if it is unfair, Schumacher and [writer Fernley] Phillips have peppered the script with enough unnecessary similarities to Lynch's work -- primarily (but not limited to) 'Lost Highway' -- that they seem to be inviting the comparison. In 'Lost Highway,' Bill Pullman is a saxophonist who loses his grip on reality and perhaps murders the woman he loves. Private eye Fingerling is also a saxophonist and also perhaps murders the woman he loves. There are moments when Harry Gregson-Williams's score invokes Angelo Badalamenti's music for 'Twin Peaks' and 'Lost Highway;' during the closing credits, it even sounds like the sax stylings of Pullman's character."

Andy Klein, Los Angeles Citybeat


WHEN GUSTAVO MET OSCAR: THE NEXT GENERATION

FROM: Arthur B. Lintgen

It is interesting that there were four worthy scores included in this year's Oscar nominations, and the only score that wasn't worthy -- 'Babel' -- won. That is two years in a row that the majority of film music experts would say that the same composer won when he didn't deserve it. That of course is nothing new when you consider that 'Vertig'o wasn't even nominated, and 'The High and the Mighty' beat Leonard Bernstein's iconic score for 'On the Waterfront.' Now, how ridiculous is it that Santoallala in two years has won more Oscars than Bernard Herrmann and Jerry Goldsmith in 30-40 year careers!?


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